Twenty books and fifty-six movies later, the “Harry Potter” franchise comes to a close with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”, thus ending one of the most profitable movie franchises in cinematic history. There hasn’t been a franchise that cleaned up at the box office this thoroughly since Ken Burns’ incredible 67-part documentary about the making of butter. Remember that one? The episode about how butter helped win World War II totally blew my mind. Anyhoo. The last hurrah for Harry and the gang now comes home to DVD, Blu-ray, and for download on November 11, 2011 from Warner Bros. Home Video.
In the epic finale, the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding world escalates into an all-out war. The stakes have never been higher and no one is safe. But it is Harry who may be called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice as he draws closer to the climactic showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends here.
An excerpt from our review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”:
Everything in “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” builds towards the inevitable, to an epic clash of good versus evil where the fate of the entire world rests on the outcome. The whole film feels like a final chapter, and there are obvious parallels to other series ending films, like “Return of the Jedi” and “Return of the King”. The story quickly builds into a fierce, sprawling battle that comprises the bulk of the film, but while the majority of the cast of characters are engaged in a vicious fight for survival, the hero is on an ancillary quest, one that is both deeply personal, but also holds the key to ultimate victory for the forces of good. Like Luke on the Death Star and Frodo in Mordor, Harry must hunt down and destroy Voldemort, while the Battle of Hogwarts rages on the periphery.
“Deathly Hallows: Part 2” alternates between dark and moody scenes, and sweeping, all out war. Heavy with the weight of the world, Harry is surrounded by dead friends, destruction, and despair. I’m not too proud to admit, even though the film glosses over a couple of the heavier emotional parts from the book, I got misty a couple of times. Just because I look like a hobo doesn’t mean I don’t have an irrational bond to imaginary teenage wizards. Fans bring a hanky.
You can read Brent’s full review of the film here.
DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Review:
First of all, awesome cover on the combo pack. The holographic cover gives you Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but tilt it just a bit and you get that evil rascal Lord Voldemort and his fellow evil types preparing to do, no doubt, something nefarious. The pack comes with three discs, the same theatrical copy of the movie on DVD and Blu-ray on separate discs, and a third disc with Blu-ray special features. You also get an UltraViolet Digital Copy of the movie; watch it on a PC or Mac or stream the flick to your fancy handheld devices via the cloud.
As always, Maximum Movie Mode is my favorite of the special features, bar none. And as always, it’s best to have seen the movie through once first before indulging in this, as it interrupts viewing of the film with background goodies and features, as is the whole point of MMM.
A “Behind the Story” option gives you three different featurettes: A lengthy, nearly 1-hour “A Conversation with JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe” documentary, essentially a “how it all went down” with Harry Potter creator Rowling and Harry Potter himself, Radcliffe, sitting down to discuss about bringing the characters to life. It’s honestly amazing that Radcliffe is such a well-put together young man 10 years later, given how young he was when he started on the first movie. The 10-minute “The Goblins of Gringotts” features “head goblin” Warwick Davis taking you through the process of becoming a Goblin, and just what it takes to get the gig. I still remember Davis from “Willow”, FYI, one of the very first swords-and-fantasy film I ever saw in theaters. And finally, there is a 22-minute “The Women of Harry Potter”, which is, yes, all about the kickass women of Harry Potter.
Other bonuses include six and a half minutes of deleted scenes (nothing too mind blowing, but you do get more exposition and such, and for those wondering where some of those scenes from the book went, there are six minutes of them right here), a quickie preview of “Pottermore”, the Harry Potter online site featuring an introduction by Rowling, and a 90-second preview of the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London. Book those tickets now, kids! Or pester your parents too, anyway.
Video and sound quality-wise, I don’t have to say it, do I? This is Warner Bros. I have yet to encounter a Warner Bros. Blu-ray disc that wasn’t top-notch in terms of visuals and audio. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” is no exception.